There have been many disturbing trends in movies over the past few years. Remakes, reboots, Ryan Reynolds, just to name a few. The ungodly amount of movies about emo vampires is disturbing as well. But the worst, the absolute worst by far has been the sudden re-emergence of 3D cinema.
Every decade, this gimmick (and that’s what it is) comes back from the dead. I don’t know when it first made an appearance in movies, but I do know that it was around in the 1950s, as the Vincent Price classic horror flick House of Wax was originally 3D. For the most part, that is where 3D has stayed, in the horror genre. Who can forget classics like Friday the 13th Part 3D, Jaws 3D, or My Bloody Valentine 3D?
But seriously, that is where 3D should be, campy horror movies. It’s a neat gimmick for arterial spray, boobs, and blunt objects coming at people. The only other place it works is in amusement park attractions, since it is usually tied into rocking seats and all kinds of other effects best suited for a theatre in Busch Gardens. Otherwise, its pretty goddamn cheesy and completely unnecessary.
Movies like Thor, Captain America, Cars 2, and Harry Potter were all in 3D this summer and it was nothing more than a way for their producers to grab some extra cash at the box office. There was nothing in any of these movies that could be enhanced by a third dimension and the scenes that were set up for 3D were really obvious and kind of hokey. I say this having not seen any of these in 3D; it is just that you can tell even in a normal, real movie where the 3D scene is intended to be. It takes you out of the movie for a second, because you tend to notice things like “Oh shit, there’s a wand/shield/hammer shooting out of the screen” and not “Oh shit, Voldemort/Red Skull/ Loki is going to kill Harry Potter/Captain America/Thor.” You forsake plot details, acting, and skill as a filmmaker for a cheap thrill that looks cheap when you stop to think about it. Transformers 3 was also 3D, but that doesn’t really matter because that looked like a piece of shit no matter what way you see it.
A lot of this craze happened because of Avatar and how people were in love with the way it looked. Not to burst anyone’s bubble, but that movie was all style and no substance. For all the raving about motion capture and effects, people need to just own up that it was just a fancy cartoon mixed with some real shit in it. After that, every movie was coming out in 3D. Most of them weren’t even filmed as such (like Clash of the Titans) and effects were added later to make it playable in the format. How stupid is that? Granted, it isn’t like we’re talking about True Grit or The King’s Speech or some kind of genuine artistic film endeavor, but you’re still taking an existing product and adding shit that wasn’t there originally just to be able to charge an extra $5 for a ticket. The only recent 3D release that can even be justified being as such is Jackass 3D, because well, that’s funny.
Luckily, it seems like people are starting to buy into the fact that they are getting ripped off. Attendance at movies that are showed in 3D is considerably lower than its 2D counterpart, and the number of people seeing 3D is shrinking. What needs to happen is that people need to realize seeing a movie in 3D is a waste of the extra money and deliberately avoid seeing it in any format other than the traditional one. It’s the first step to stopping Hollywood’s line of thought that you can sugercoat bullshit by making it pop out of the screen at you. Production companies think viewers are dumb enough that they can be swayed by seeing an object fly out of the screen that they won’t realize that the movie they are at probably sucks (Green Lantern) or could just as easily have been seen for less money in (the still overpriced, but not as bad as 3D) the 2D format. Of course, they may have a point. People are pretty fucking stupid, or why else would Sarah Palin have two bestselling books and a reality show? Come to think of it, that is actually scarier than 3D.